09 June, 2021

First time in an Art Show - Pointers??

I am thrilled to be personally taking part in my first public, group art show in late-July! In the past, my work was shipped to galleries for small, group shows, but I did not attend because of (distance and travel costs.

This show is local with about sixty artists on display and we are expecting a few thousand people to come through over the weekend. I will have a 'booth' space with a 6' Gridwall Tower for six framed works and two print racks for matted originals. Been prepping for weeks but will likely forget something!

What advice do you have for someone venturing into the art show world for the first time?




Lucia Stewart 09 Jun 2021

Have a clear display sign with your business or art name - something memorable and easy to remember.

Have a wide range of sizes and prices in your inventory. Smaller cheaper items tend to go faster. Customers put more thought into larger works because it often depends on where they would like to hang it in the home. Consider matte prints or greeting/postcards. Customers would often get a few at a time, or as a set.

Have business cards or other promotional pamphlets available so they can find you after the event. Be sure to add your social media accounts to your promotional material for potential customers to follow your journey. i.e. Instagram or Facebook.

If you do commissions have that info ready, with sizes and prices. I often display my QR code as well as a 'Do not photograph' sign.

Be friendly and engaging, and make eye contact. Be available, don't look busy when you have foot traffic.

You could paint on the spot, that's a great attention grabber and will initiate some great art conversations.

When you make a sale, do a selfie with your customer (if they're willing), so you can post it and boast about it online, hashtag the show etc.

Most of all, enjoy it! Good luck!

Mark A. Lembo 09 Jun 2021

Lucia, many thanks. Sounds like I am headed in the right direction.

1'x2' sign shown below! Will be positioned at top of tower which will be up close to the aisle.

I will have six framed works roughly 16X20 (one is 12x18) on the tower grouped by style (plus an extra in the car!), and 20+ matted and sleeved originals in the print racks - most matted to 16x20/20x16, and a few 9x12s matted smaller.

Looking to focus on the originals and gauge the market for pricing. Commissions are a discussion topic. If prints, cards, etc. are of major interest, I can pivot to RedBubble/Artwanted/Vsual.co and try to close a sale via that route.

Business cards and a clipboard with QR codes to social media sites and web pages for 'collections' on display. LOVE the 'Do not photograph' sign idea!!! That QR code leads to commission overview? or website?

Thanks, again!

Cheers, MAL

Lucia Stewart 09 Jun 2021

Love your sign, Mark! Great job on that, looks like you have it all covered.

My QR codes leads to Instagram which shows my other site links. I also print out sale sheets from my POD sites and hand those out when asked about prints and products.

Here is the A4 sign I pop into a store bought frame. You may use it if you like.

Mark A. Lembo 09 Jun 2021


Cheryl Garman-Andrade 10 Jun 2021

I agree with everything Lucia said. Take a buddy to run and cover for you. My daughter is usually my booth buddy. In the past, we have gotten slammed and it's difficult to be engaged with more than one customer at a time. These events are the best for sales/networking and all local events in my area were cancelled last year due to Covid - so ready to get back at it. Wear your best smile, talk up your work and process (people really are interested) and have a great time!

Rick Corbett 10 Jun 2021

This is awesome news!! Congratulations. Your first show, how exciting.

I agree with my fellow artists, have business cards, bring examples of your work, and draw or paint on site, that is a great way to build a crowd, and you'll feel like a rock star. People love to see artists work.

Art shows are fun for both the artists and the patrons. Also, it's a great way to network as well. Be engaging and have fun. Enjoy the moment. Congratulations again!

Mark A. Lembo 11 Jun 2021

Rick, many thanks!

Mark A. Lembo 20 Jul 2021

Only a few more days until set up on Friday! Excited and slightly nervous before the maiden 'voyage!'

Gridwall tower layout is planned, and 36+/- matted and sleeved originals have been priced and sealed. Everything actually fits in the car, with a little room to spare. Even though it is an indoor event, the weather looks good!

Will try to post an Instagram story, or two, but will at least post throughout @ScriptMAbstractArt.

Recap, here, on Monday as a new thread.

Cheers, MAL